Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#CogentBooks - Harappa: The Curse of the Blood River by Vineet Bajpai

The Indian publishing industry is facing a problem. This problem is affecting the reading/ spending habits of the consumer. The problem that I'm trying to talk about, is that of Indian authors. Every publishing house seems to be creating an arsenal of books written by Indian authors, hoping to find the next Ashwin Sanghi, Amish, or maybe even the next Chetan Bhagat

In this complicated web of plethora of Indian authors finding a publishing house who agrees to convert a manuscript to a paperback, there is a Vineet Bajpai, who has written an Indian mythological based thriller, that would make you keep flipping pages, and asking for more, when you're done reading Harappa: The Curse of the Blood River.

Harappa is the first instalment of the series and it talks about Vidyut. Vidyut is a smart, independent, well established entrepreneur based in Delhi, but he is hiding something from the world. He knows that he comes from a family of people who are born for a higher purpose, but he hasn't exactly been told what the purpose is.

Friday, September 16, 2016

#CogentMovies - Pink (2016)

Movies are more often than not looked at, from a single dimension of being entertaining. Of course, one of the primary expectations from a movie is to be entertained; but sometimes, a movie becomes a mere medium to convey a message, inform, educate, or maybe just leave you thinking about a particular topic. Pink, by Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury is one such film.

Friday, July 8, 2016

#CogentMovies - Sultan (2016)

Sultan is not a movie about a wrestler. Sultan is not a movie about wrestling/ Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sport/ sporting leagues. Sultan is a story of achievement, loss, recovery and bigger achievements.

The first statement may seem too contradictory and confusing, but it's true. Sultan as a movie, could have been the story of a businessman, or that of a chef. It's just a matter of coincidence that writer-director Ali Abbas Zafar chose Salman Khan to play role of a wrestler. Sultan Ali Khan (played by Salman), is a lad nearing 30 who hasn't really found a purpose in life. He hails from a small district from the state of Haryana. 
Haryana is known to have given India some of its best wrestlers, so the movie being based out of the state seemed like a natural choice for Ali.

Sultan, on a seemingly normal day comes accidentally (quite literally) across Aarfa. Aarfa (played by Anushka Sharma) is the daughter of owner of an akhaada (wrestling training institute). She is aspiring and training to be the next Olympic gold medal winner, for India. Sultan also enrolls himself as a student at the akhaada, just for kicks; and ends up befriending Aarfa. However, the friendship is short lived for reasons best left for audience to discover while watching the movie. 
The incident suggested above encourages Sultan to turn himself from a random nobody to a name to reckon with; in the world of wrestling. These 15-20 minutes of transformation of Sultan the lad, to Sultan the latest sensation of wrestling; in the country, are really inspiring and entertaining. Sultan also manages to win over Aarfa in the bargain.

Without divulging too deep into the story of the movie, Sultan looses balance and in spite of achieving the pinnacle in the world of wrestling, ends up losing everything on the personal front. To the extent, that Sultan ends up retiring from the world of wrestling, and that's the turning point in the movie.

In the second half of the movie Sultan reluctantly and hesitantly ends up becoming a part of a MMA league, where he would be pitted against some of the best MMA fighters in the ring. If the transformation of Sultan the lad, to Sultan the wrestler were inspiring; this transformation of Sultan the run down ex-wrestler to a mean fighting machine is the highlight of the movie.

There are two versions of Salman Khan, the actor. The first version is a super hero on screen, he fights lunatic villains; dances and romances with the actresses, and does (some) preposterous movies. The second version of Salman Khan is a seasoned actor who gets under the skin of his character and becomes irreplaceable in the movie. The last time Salman displayed that version of his skill was in the critically acclaimed and hugely successful Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Sultan is a work of the latter Salman Khan.

Anushka Sharma would be one of the few actresses who has managed to bag a meaty, substantial and meaningful role in a Salman Khan movie and she manages to do justice to Aarfa's character.

All directors need to handle Randeep Hooda; the way he has been handled by Ali Abbas Zaffar in Sultan. He is a firecracker, although in a short role.

I'd like to give a special mention to Shanoo Sharma, who has done a commendable job in casting. Characters of Kumud Mishra, Amit Sadh, Randeep Hooda fit the role, perfectly. I was also delighted to see how Yash Raj Films nurtures talent with Anant Sharma (he played a passable role of Sunny Katiyal, in Mardaani) who makes his mark as Govind; Sultan's wingman, partner in crime, unfettered supporter and best friend. 

Sultan, is a story of rags to riches to rags to wealth; based in the world of wrestling. It's a masala Bollywood entertainer with some unwanted songs, some melodramatic and over the top moments; but it's an entertainer through and through.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

#CogentBooks - The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Crime thrillers, as a genre will always be moneymakers for publishers. As long as publishing as an industry will flourish and thrive, crime thrillers shall remain the flywheel that will keep the engine running.

In the recent years; two books have received maximum mileage and recognition from the crime thriller category. Coincidentally, they're both written by lady authors, they're both good stories and both the stories were loved by the readers so much, that Hollywood couldn't keep their hands from those books and have now been converted into movies. These two books are Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

The Girl on the Train is Paula's debut; but if you don't know that as a reader; it would be almost impossible for you to say that the author hasn't been published earlier. It's a complex story, with some very well etched characters and a suspense that will keep you guessing till the end. No wonder the book has become so popular that it has been translated in many foreign languages.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

#CogentTech - Asus Zenfone Max 32 GB with 2GB RAM

One of the most difficult decisions when buying a phone is how to choose among a plethora of options. There are so many brands, so many devices, so many variants. If that isn't enough; every brand tries to one up their product by purposely adding jargon that either is of least (or in some cases; no) value addition, or add features that end up bloating the OS so bad; that the functionality of the device is severely compromised.

Among this chaos, I came across a device which is a rather underplayed in this overpopulated market. Asus makes Android devices which are of really good quality, their specifications are always competitive; if not better; and their pricing is (almost) always better than the rest. Plus, their latest offering Asus Zenfone Max 32GB is a winner on all grounds. Watch the commercial below to know more:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

#CogentMovies - Kapoor & Sons (Since 1921) (2016)

Dharma Productions; a production house/ movie studio, which was once synonymous with movies made by the owner of the firm, Mr. Karan Johar. But today, Dharma Productions is a brand which is respected by Bollywood pundits and loved by the moviegoers. It's a label that every person who works/ aspires to work in Bollywood would want to be associated with; at least once, in their career.

Saturday, March 19, 2016



It's so good to see you here. I really don't know how did you find your way to this link, but I'm really glad you did. I'm Manish Ahuja, and CogentDesi is an alias that I've given myself.

The idea of this website is under contemplation; as I type this post. Consider this as a start with a lot of ideas, but not a solid structure. The plan of action is to begin somewhere, put some time, work and effort into this and see how all the pieces fall in place to form an all inclusive canvas of my thoughts in form of posts, organically.

Although I've been blogging for a few years now, and have contemplated about this idea a million and a half times. I finally decided and mustered the courage to start publishing content on CogentDesi, the domain. Like all journeys of the past, I'm sure even this blog is going to unravel its own set of learning. I'm slightly nervous and really excited about this one.

So, hang on tight and fasten your seat belts. I'm excited and nervous about this journey. I'll look forward to your visit every time I've something new to share.

Now that you've found your way to this blog, hopefully you wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. If you ever disagree to what I've to say; please feel free to strike a conversation with me through comments. I'd be obliged to get a fresh perspective. When you end up liking something you find, may I humbly request you spare a minute (or two, or three…) and share the post on as many social media platforms that you're aware of, and make sure all your dear ones find their way to the link shared. *fingers crossed*

Looking forward to your thoughts on what you see/ read in this space. Let's get this conversation started, shall we?

Image source: